In what will be the final games before the MU17s head into UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualification action next month, Head Coach Colin O’Brien made 11 changes to the starting XI that beat Hungary 1-0 earlier in the week with Wateford’s Romeo Akachukwu captaining the team.
The first half was an even affair with Hungary slightly the better side. Ireland’s changed back four and goalkeeper were able to shut out the Hungarians building on their solid defensive display on Wednesday.
Debutant Aaron McLaughlin came closest for Ireland in the 31st minute when he broke forward and had an effort that hit the side netting but it was all square heading into the break.
In the second half Ireland started the brightest. John O’Sullivan supplied a great pass to McLaughlin who drove down the left and put in an excellent cross but Taylor Mooney couldn’t convert at the backpost.
On the hour mark, Marcus Gill, making his MU17s debut, was called into action when he produced a fine save from Matyas Vidnyanszky who looked to beat the goalkeeper from 25-yards out. The Celtic stopper matched the strike and did well to hold onto the ball.
After a number of changes towards the latter stages of the game, Ireland pressed for a winner and it was Naj Razi, who scored earlier in the week, who came closest. Danny McGrath broke up play in the centre of the pitch and advanced forward before playing it to Razi. The Shamrock Rovers attacker chopped in on his left foot and fired off a shot but couldn't beat Bendeguz Lehoczki in the Hungarian goal.
Razi was thwarted again by Lehoczki when his direct free-kick was saved by the goalkeeper late on and the game ended goalless.
Republic of Ireland: Gill, Harnett (Grante, 75), Mackey (C. O’Sullivan, 70), Queally, Ashbee, Moore, J. O’Sullivan (McAndrew, 60), Mooney (Murray, 60 (Razi, 75)), Akachukwu (C) (McGrath, 75), Melia (Okosun, 75), McLaughlin (Orazi, 70)
Hungary: Lehoczki, Girsik, Umathum, Kubicsek, Mohai, Somfalvi, Fenyo, Vidnyanszky, C. Molnar, Szabo, Bogdan: Substitutes: Yaakobishvli, M. Molnar, Lengyel, Burghart, Kaczvinszki, Hornyak, Balabas, Toth, Bagi, Simon, Katona, Varga
Referee: Navarro Quiñonero (Spain)
International Friendly results
Thursday, February 9 | Ireland MU17 1-0 Hungary MU17
Saturday, February 11 | Ireland MU17 0-0 Hungary MU17